Making Amends and Reordering Pronouns
Who knew reordering personal pronouns could help me make amends? Reordering the pronouns in the opening sentence of my amends might make a world of difference in healing and restoring what I broke.
One of the double-edged blessings of meetings that rely on AA literature is seeing what I could have done better. It smarts.
But making progress in my recovery means bursting my silly pride-filled bubbles – daily.
Here’s where listening to and reading what others have found worked keeps me leaning on the God of my understanding who doesn’t keep a score card. (Hebrews 8:12)
Saying to someone I hurt when I was drinking, I wasn’t the person you’d hope I’d be; please forgive me, was a lousy amends. (Note the order of the pronouns?)
I know that now.
Thirty-odd years ago, I thought that was a stellar start to making an amend. However, making this amend was more about me feeling justified than seeking the best for the person I’d harmed.
I have heard others admit skipping over steps, rushing through them wasn’t wise. That’s why sometimes their amends blew up and ended badly – like mine did.
Working the steps with a blind spot like me, myself, and Ismack in the middle of all my thoughts meant I was not changing much. ( Luke 6:41)
Given my history, I could legitimately assign some blame to people who harmed me. . . but I was always free to make many choices to escape hard situations. Too often, I chose my buddy alcohol that promised a bright future.
To this day, I have to watch excusing myself at other’s expense!
Had I talked more honestly with my sponsor; had I prayed, oh for even a minute, I might have heard my conscience ask me a few questions. But I wanted the pain of realizing the harm I’d done others to be over.
Harboring resentments may mean I overlooked something on my inventory. Then, when I arrive at Step Nine, I can use what I heard what someone suggested to open a difficult conversation:
You did not deserve what I did.
Note the order of the pronouns.
Sometimes making changes, that is making amends, is just rethinking where I place personal pronouns in an opening sentence.
Making amends is not buying me peace at the expense of others. (Step Nine, the 12&12, page 83)